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Chapter 20

BIOL 1001 Chapter 20: Ch 20 Darwin, Fossils, and Developmental Biology.docx


Department
Biology
Course Code
BIOL 1001
Professor
Roberto Quinlan
Chapter
20

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Ch. 20 Darwin, Fossils,
and Developmental Biology 01/13/2013
20.1 Recognition of Evolutionary Change
Aristotle (384 – 322 BCE)  created a classification of nature from simplest to most complex
14th century Europeans had merged Aristotle’s classification with the biblical account of creation
natural theology: sought to name and catalogue all of God’s creation
all of the different kinds of organisms had been special created by a god  species to never change or go
extinct
Scala Naturae = Great Chain of Being [Aristotle’s ladder of life]
Western World science began to come of age durin 15 th through 18th centuries
Sir Francis Bacon [1561-1626]: established importance of observation / experimentation / inductive
reasoning
Biogeography / comparative morphology / geology
promoted a growing awareness of change
George-Louis Leclerc (1707-1788) le Comte de Buffon
Proposed that some animals must have changed since their creation

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Vestigial structures (non functional) must have functioned in ancestral organisms
conceived by nature and produced by time”
Georges Cuvier (1769-1832):
Layers of fossils represented organisms that had lived at successive times in the past
Developed catastrophism
Catastrophism: each layer of fossils represented the remains of organisms that had died in a local
catastrophe such as a flood. Somewhat different species then recolonized the area, and when another
catastrophe struck, they formed a different set of fossils in the next higher layer
Jean Baptiste de Lamarck (1744-1829):
Proposed first comprehensive theory of biological evolution
Based on specific mechanisms
Proposed that a metaphysical, “perfecting principle” caused organisms to become better suited to their
environments
•microscopic organisms were replaced at the bottom by spontaneous generation
theorized 2 mechanisms fostered evolutionary change
principle of use and disuse” and “inheritance of acquired characteristics”
TODAY WE KNOW THAT LAMARCK’S PROPOSED MECHANISMS DO NOT CAUSE
EVOLUTIONARY CHANGE!!!
Structural changes acquired during an organism’s lifetime are not inherited by the next generation
Contributed 4 important developments of an evolutionary world view:
1. proposed all species change through time
2. recognized changes are passed from one generation to the next
3. suggested organisms change in response to their environments
4. hypothesized existence of specific mechanisms that caused evolutionary change

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20.2 Changes in Earth 01/13/2013
James Hutton (1726-1797):
1975 argued slow and continuous physical processes, produced earth’s major geologic features
proposed gradualism
gradualism: view that earth changed slowly over its history (contrasted sharply with Cuvier’s
catastrophism)
Charles Lyell extended Hutton’s ideas in an influential series of books (Principle’s of Geology)  argued
geologic processes sculpted earth’s surface over long periods of time are exactly the same as the
processes we observe today (uniformitarianism)
•taken millions of years to mold the landscape into its current configuration
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